The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be holding a public press conference to officially announce September's UFC 135: "Jones vs. Rampage" event today, (July 19, 2011).
The conference will begin at 12 p.m. ET live from Braun's Bar & Grill in Denver, the home city of the event.
Scheduled to attend will be UFC president Dana White as well as the two headlining fighters of the evening: Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson.
"Bones" Jones is the current UFC light heavyweight champion, having recently defeated Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 for the title. This will be his first attempt to defend his belt. Fun fact: today is his 24th birthday.
On the opposite side of the podium will be the challenger to his title, former UFC 205 pound champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who earned a shot at the belt after consecutive victories over Lyoto Machida and Matt Hamill respectively.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 135 press conference as well as a live video stream after the jump.
Brian Hemminger here, the conference will begin shortly.
On this being the second UFC event headlined by two African American fighters:
Jon Jones: It doesn't cross my mind. I've fought guys from all ethnic backgrounds. We all bleed the same.
Quinton Jackson: It's 2011 now, this shouldn't be a big deal.
on representing the old school
Quinton Jackson: I'm only 33, you're asking like I'm Randy Couture's decrepted old ass. If ya'll put me in that category. I was younger than (Jon Jones) when I started and I fought in Pride against Wanderlei, Shogun and them. He's the youngest champion but he's also the least experienced champion in UFC history. I want my belt back, I've got tunnel vision.
Jon Jones: I think Brock Lesnar might have been the least experienced champion. I respect what Rampage does for our support. I think everytime you beat people that have done things for our sport, you take their thunder. I did that with Shogun and I think I can do that with Rampage.
On how the fight goes down:
Quinton Jackson: I see Jon Jones getting destroyed. I want my belt back.
Jon Jones: I'll give you a replica belt if you want one so bad. I see the fight being a great fight. I'm not looking to knock him out, I'm just looking to finish the fight any way possible.
Quinton Jackson: I'm not coming with a crazy gameplan. This is a win-win situation. My last fight (with Hamill) was a lose-lose situation. I'm gonna try to destroy him. Him and Rashad have the same problem, they're really confident. The last time I was this confident I knocked them out in the first round and got that belt.
Jackson shuts down the "lack of desire talk" aggressively.
Quinton Jackson: When have you ever seen me lack passion? This is my day job, this pays my bills and puts my kids through college. Just because I want to have a career when I'm done fighting doesn't mean people would think I'm not determined and not passionate. I don't lack any passion. This is what I do. I got lots of things I want to do, I wanna design video games, have motor-boating contests. Don't hate on me for wanting to have a career when I'm done.
On how the UFC has come and his vision:
Dana White: It's been a crazy ride. We always thought it had the potential not just to be a huge sport in the US and the world. Everybody gets fighting and they like it, especially this style of fighting. The vision is to get this thing going. We're in half a billion homes and in 22 different languages.
Dealing with the altitude
Jon Jones: I train with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, NM and the elevation is barely lower than here. Greg trains his guys to get ready physically and not break. I'll be ready.
Quinton Jackson: I'm training here. I'm preparing for this fight here and I come back on Monday. I'm bringing Wolfslair here. I'm bringing my whole team. We can train on the moon and still be Wolfslair.
On the stability of the division:
Dana White: Who knew that Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre would go on the runs they have. This division puts on amazing fights and it's going to take a really special person to hold that title for a while.
On respecting opponents:
Jon Jones: It's up to the opponent how far they want to take it.
Quinton Jackson: I'm not the internet guy going around and saying stuff on the internet. I've been hearing stuff but none of that stuff bothers me. I do my talking in the Octagon. I'll take jabs at him here. I take jabs at everybody.
on moving to heavyweight:
Jon Jones: I think it'll happen when I'm 26-27. I've got a good nutritionist but I am growing. I've got two really large brothers.
Dana White: Alistair hurt his toe, he's still under contract. Showtime had the date set and it is what it is.
on who's next:
Dana White: It depends what happens in a couple weeks. If Rashad beats Tito, he's next in line. For Tito, he goes and beats Bader who was ranked seven or eight and if he beats Rashad who's number one, that'll put him up there.
On using his wrestling
Jon Jones: I think I displayed pretty good kickboxing against Shogun. Rampage is like fighting a boxer. If he thinks I won't stand with him he's got the wrong impression.
Quinton Jackson: You fought Shogun when he was rusty as hell.
Jon Jones: There's always excuses, you didn't fight the Pride Rampage, you fought the movie star Rampage. You got any excuses prepared now?
Quinton Jackson: I won't need any.
On the growth of the sport for female fans:
Dana White: We created the Ultimate Fighter for males and never saw the female fans coming. There was a story on Fox about girls taking girl-trips to come to Vegas for fights. It's amazing how much the female fanbase has grown.
on the UFC taking advantage of NFL and NBA lockouts:
Dana White: To be honest with you, we're different than all of them. Sometimes there's a little crossover but it's different. We're a pay-per-view. If you don't think that when there's a big football game on or something, we don't try to swim around it, we do. I don't think we compete for the same dollar. It wouldn't be a bad thing if we were the only thing on for a few months.
on wanting Rashad to win so they can squash the beef:
Jon Jones: I want Rashad to win so I can prove that I'd never duck a fight.
Quinton Jackson: I've been babying my hand and it feels good. I'll take care of it and tape it well for training camp. I've fought with messed up hands before.
on Chael Sonnen
Quinton Jackson: I don't care what Chael Sonnen says. If he cared more about his game, he's have done better in his last fight. If he walked past me in his last fight I wouldn't know who he is.
on Franklin-Little Nog fighting on the Denver card instead:
Dana White: It could happen. It depends if he heals up in time.
The press conference has concluded
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